What is an ode? 

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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An ode is a form of poetry usually written in lyrical verse. In ancient Greece, odes were usually sung with the accompaniment of a lyre. Odes were typically written and/or sung in praise or glorification of some thing, person or event.

Odes follow three types of structure (meter and rhyme scheme): Pindaric, Horatian and irregular. Famous practitioners of the ode were Horace, Pindar and Sappho. Later many poets, including English poets Keats, Tennyson and Gray, as well as Pablo Neruda, took up the form.

One example is Keats' “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” which is a meditation on the differences between life and art. Another example is Neruda's “Ode to My Socks,” which employs free verse. One of the themes in this ode is the beauty and utility of seemingly trivial objects.  


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